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Review: Blinded By Faith - Under an Occult Sun
Blinded By Faith
Under an Occult Sun

Label: Galy Records
Year released: 2003
Tracks: 9
Genre: Melodic Black Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 20, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Under an Occult Sun

Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (3 Votes)

When I reviewed Blinded By Faith's demo nearly 4 years ago, I had essentially no knowledge whatsoever of Black Metal. That made for an interesting, but very misinformed/misguided review. Oh well, I had to start somewhere. :) I still think it's a great demo, however. Better late than never, the band's first full-length album came out a few months ago, with a slightly-changed lineup. In the past couple of years, the band has made it clear on multiple occasions that while they found some of their early influences in Black Metal, they do not adhere to the ideology. That is quite an accurate statement, especially looking at the lyrical content of this album, which essentially deals with rebellion, lack of justice in today's society, political hypocrisy, and maybe even a little bit of conspiracy theory paranoia. :) So don't go hoping for some satanic lyrics in here, you won't find them. And just like on their demo, it seems like the guys put quite a bit of work in their lyrics.

Musically, it's a slight change of direction from the demo, but not too much. I find the music has a bit of power metal sound added to it, especially on the guitar side of things (this could be due to the arrival of guitarist Pascal Côté, who used to play for the power metal band Lordz.) Guitar-wise, I like what I hear on this, but sometimes the keyboards are a little bit too overwhelming and everything else seem to take a back seat. I don't mind keyboards too much, but when they're brought too much forward like this, I can't help but cringe a little. Still there are some damn good keyboard parts here, sometimes bringing in some medieval overtones. I think the band still won't escape comparisons with Cradle of Filth this time around, in part due to the vocal style which is not as Dani-esque as on the demo, but still close enough to make the connection. I guess to some extent that "Under an Occult Sun" almost sounds like Cradle of Filth meets Children of Bodom. The great guitar work and the occasional well-integrated keyboard parts are what keeps bringing me back to this album. The songs are quite busy, however, and this requires a good number of listens to really take it all in and start appreciating it to its just value. There's a hell of a lot of stuff going on musically here.

Fans of "Veiled Hideousness", the band's demo, are assured to find something they like in here. Others who weren't impressed might want to take a look at this one for the improved guitar work and the slightly different vocals. Whether or not this will win them new fans is a question I can't answer, but one way or the other, this is not the last you'll hear from Blinded By Faith.

I almost forgot to talk about the cover art, which at first glance I found to be kind of... too artificial (mostly because of the pyramid.) Stopping for 5 seconds however, revealed that the cover art is in fact very tied to the lyrical content of the album and actually makes quite a bit of sense. Something to keep you busy while listening to the album. :)

Other related information on the site
Review: Chernobyl Survivor (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Veiled Hideousness (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Daniel and Pascal (guitars) on March 11, 2001 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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